The Let's Play Archive

Dragon Wars

by rujasu

Part 30: Kingshome Dungeon

Update 30: Dungeon of Kingshome

You'd think, at some point, villains would evolve past the cliche of throwing the heroes in a dungeon. Escaping from dungeons while scouring them for every possible ounce of treasure and experience is kinda what adventurers do. Not only are they bound to get out, they'll probably find some secret magical item or mysterious hidden treasure on the way. So not only did you not really impede the heroes' progress by capturing them, you probably managed to help them find exactly what they need to defeat you in the process.

Bottom line, if you've got them at your mercy for a minute, just kill them! Barring that, you're better off just not even capturing the good guys. If they can't find a dungeon to milk for treasure, maybe they'll get stuck in some town where they neglected to talk to the right elder, and they'll just never find you.

So with all of that in mind...

...our heroes find themselves in yet another dungeon. Why would Namtar make such a mistake? More on that later. For now, we have a dungeon to explore, and eventually escape.

It's just us, a cell, and a door. And presumably, a lock on the other side of said door. What shall we do? We have lockpicks, but we can't very well pick a lock from the inside of our cell. We could try to kick the door down, or...

...or it could just not have a lock at all this time. Well, okay then.

So, this puts us in a short hallway with doors to a few other cells along the way. At the far end of the hallway is another door leading out of this area of the dungeon. Before we go there, we'll pick the lock of one of the cells (only ours was unlocked), and encounter...

Paragraph 53 posted:

In this cell you find a weak young man dressed in soiled motley. "Good evening ladies and germs, it's good to be back at the palace," he says as you enter his cell. "A funny thing happened to me on the way to the dungeon." The poor man was obviously a court jester. "I ran into Sir Loin of Pork this afternoon - he said he was about to become Baron of Greymatter." This guy really stinks. If wiser men than you consigned this man to the dungeons, who are you to set him free. "I got a million of 'em," the jester says, seeming to notice you for the first time and perking up considerably. This confirms your worst fears, and you slam and lock the cell door. "Cancel the Renaissance - it looks like a reign of terror!" comes the muffled voice from behind the door.

Even Namtar has a good idea now and then.

We don't get anything for going in here, it's just another one of the game's odd bits of humor. Okay then.

We move to the door at the end of the hallway, where we encounter another wild paragraph:

Paragraph 65 posted:

This guard room is occupied by several menacing men who stand when you enter. "Well... look at this," one of them sneers. "Our prisoners have 'escaped'. We have to 'recapture' them - perhaps several times." The guards begin to close in. "Remember, men, these prisoners were trying to escape...we won't be accused of beating prisoners in their cells again!"

Remember, this is the dungeon of a country currently ruled by a literal demon from hell. Why do the guards need to hide the fact that they're beating prisoners?

I always love it when the paragraph mentions "several menacing men" and the actual encounter is two random weak guys. By the way, we still have all of our magical equipment, items, and spells, because Namtar's henchmen never bothered to take that stuff away from us. So naturally, we kick these guys' teeth in without breaking a sweat.

These guys are a bit tougher, but still fairly easy to take down.

This dungeon has a way of overselling the severity of its encounters. It's possible to make it here earlier in the game, but even then, it's just not a very tough area. The two Stosstrupen might be tougher to deal with if they started at 10', but at 20' we can just fire spells at them for a round or let them walk into melee range.

The "Jackpot!" here, however, is not overselling things. This is a nice haul:

Sure, some of this equipment is outmoded by now. But Black Helms are always precious, the Mage Ring is mildly useful, and the Gatlin Bow is the first and only bow we really care about.

Remember how the Tri-Cross has a "Burst" mode which fires three bolts instead of one? The Gatlin has that too, but that's not important. It also has a third mode: Full Auto. It fires the entire quiver in one attack. So if you equip the Gatlin Bow along with a pack of Arrow x 20, using Full Auto will attack a single enemy target 20 times. This is costly, but it deals a bunch of damage.

That's still not the good part.

Earlier, we picked up an item called the "Magic Quiver." It is listed as a pack of 63 arrows, and those arrows are slightly weaker than normal arrows, but they never run out. The count will always remain 63, no matter what. This means exactly what you think it means. Attacking with Gatlin Bow + Magic Quiver + Full Auto means you fire 63 times, you don't waste any ammo, and you never have to reload. This combination very well may be the best attack in the game, even better than the Sword of Freedom.

Also, there is a secret door in the eastern wall. Like with many secret doors in this game, I don't know how you're supposed to know about it. Our best bet is to just feel around random walls or cast Soften Stone wherever there's a spot that could be a secret area.

There is a fork here. If we go to the north, we walk right into a trap!

But if we go south, we find this:

Paragraph 42 posted:

In this dusty and disused chamber you find what was formerly the throne of King Drake of Kingshome, the mightiest ruler of Dilmun. The throne is heaped in the corner and in poor repair. Carelessly tossed behind the throne you find Drake's ceremonial crown. Maybe it will be worth something, if there is ever a true king in Kingshome.

The crown is useless, as far as I can tell, despite the paragraph's suggestion that it could be important. The Gold isn't really much better at this point. From here, we'll backtrack a bit and find a staircase leading up.

Note the color change. While the name displayed is still "Kingshome," we're now out of the dungeon and in the castle proper.

There's only one way to go, however, and it leads through this room:

Now, it looks like there's nothing in this room, but that's just 1989 EGA graphics fooling with your eyes.

Everyone... prepare yourselves.



There's this guy.

Paragraph 131 posted:

This is a private bedchamber. A man wearing a simple robe lays on a divan. He seems neither old nor young. He has no distinguishing marks or characteristics...there is no evil air to him, his eyes do not piece to your soul, his brow has no spark of mad genius. He sits up lazily as you enter, swings his feet to the floor, walks across the room, and shakes your hand.

"I'm Namtar," he says.

Yep, you read that right.


"I'm Namtar," he says.

Holy shit.



Paragraph 131 Continued posted:

"I'm Namtar," he says. "I suppose you guessed that. You've given me quite a lot of trouble." Namtar smiles. "Disappointed? Expecting something more? Later - I promise you. Won't you sit down?" Namtar offers you a chair.

Namtar looks sleepy. He keeps rubbing his eyes. "Administering the conquest of the world is a bitch," he says. "If I'd known how much work this was going to take, I doubt I ever would have started. Or maybe I never had a choice. No matter. We need to talk.

"I am the son of gods. It is my destiny to rule men such as yourselves. You don't have to like it - I sense you do not - but that is the way of things. I have some grand plans, but I can't begin until this futile resistance is quelled. It's just a matter of time. You know that as well as I. Why don't you pack it off to the Isle of the Damned - it worked for old Drake. You're not even native to Dilmun...there's little reason for you to oppose me. Granted, that episode in Purgatory was nasty, but into everyone's life a little reign must fall. Ha ha. That was a pun."

No one laughs. Namtar sighs. "Ah well, I suppose we'll have to do this the hard way. I'll be leaving now. If you're very dedicated, and very lucky, we may meet again within the Mountain of Salvation. I will kill you then. In the meantime consider yourselves to be living on borrowed time. It's the least I can give you in gratitude for the entertainment you've provided thus far.

" the way. You can move again." Namtar's sorcery was so complete, you did not notice you were under his compulsion until he brought it up. "I wish you the worst of luck, my friends." Suddenly Namtar is gone - no flash of light, no peal of thunder - just gone.


The brilliance of this is that it gives a pretty simple explanation for why Namtar took us alive instead of killing us. He's bored. He's already omipotent, he's conquered Dilmun, and now he's toying with his only possible opposition because it's the only thing amusing him.

Really, what is there to say about Namtar's introduction? It is great. Sure, it's just a short blurb of text and a picture, but it's enough to make Namtar not just a faceless antagonist, but a real, interesting character. And if there was any doubt that he is a serious threat, his performance here should erase that doubt.

We won't see Namtar again for a little while. We have some other business to take care of before visiting him (and Mystalvision!) on the Mountain of Salvation. But rest assured, when we do, it will be worth the wait. Namtar won't be holding back next time.